A 4WD road climbs steeply from Chalice car park for a further 7 km. It takes about three hours to walk, passing Planters Lookout, which has picnicking areas and great views.
At the end of the 4WD section a marked route leads to the summit (2 hr), negotiating a series of steep rocky ridges with the occasional sidle. It is not recommended for inexperienced or unfit trampers.
5 km north Renwick (just over the Wairau River bridge) turn off SH6 onto Northbank Road. Follow this for 33 km then turn into Top Valley Road. Continue for 6 km then turn into Staircase Road and follow this for 18 km to the car park.
Know before you go
Safety: Bad weather can occur at any time, so be prepared with warm and waterproof clothing and extra food. Make sure you have enough experience for your trip. Always fill in hut books and ensure someone knows your intentions.
Wasps are a known hazard and are particularly common from December until April. Carry antihistamine if you are allergic to their stings.
Drinking water: Water should be carried in dry conditions – there is a river/creek at the bottom but this water becomes scarce further up, especially in summer. The purity of drinking water in Mount Richmond Forest Park can't be guaranteed – if you doubt the quality of any water source you should boil, filter or chemically treat it.